"Navigation to the webpage was cancelled" when updating Powerpoint presentation

Asked by AndyC

Environment: Windows XP, IE8, Powerpoint 2003.

Issue: I have around 40 Xibo displays around the building, and recently (last few months) certain ones of them display "Navigation to the webpage was cancelled" in the region containing a Powerpoint presentation, when said presentation is updated in the layout. this never used to be a problem, and I've been running the same OS, xibo version and layouts for years. I have upgraded from my original 1.4.0 clients to the current 1.6.4, which seems to have reduced the number of units this is happening on, but I still have a couple of repeat offenders.

To force the issue, you can close the client and delete the contents of the library folder. On launching the client, the splash screen holds and the content files begin to download. The current powerpoint file is around 67MB in size, but on reaching around 50MB size, the client closes itself. If I re-launch, the layout immediately displays, but with the "navigation to the webpage was cancelled"- the file itself continues to download at that point, reaching full size, but never displays in the layout. Closing the clients manually and reopening at that point results in a correct display (until the next update of presentation file)

I have yet to upgrade my server to 1.6 and this remains on version 1.4. Would need to schedule downtime for that so hesitant to do so unless it's definitely required.

Any assistance appreciated.


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Dan Garner (dangarner) said :

It is a little strange that the layout is being shown before all of the content has downloaded (it is also strange that the client closes during the download).

I've created an unconfirmed bug for the first point - so I remember to investigate it.

The second point may need some additional debugging - in particular can you see which the exception is for the client closing? It would be in the Windows APplication Event log.


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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

Hi Alex,

Thanks for your reply. This is actually a little worse than I first thought, as it's affecting all my displays. The reason I've only noticed on a couple is because I have a program installed on most of the units called 'Firedeamon' which calls the Xibo client as a service. The reason being if the client crashes, which it does from time to time, this will keep restarting it. It's worked beautifully for years, but now is masking the problem as after the client crashes during Powerpoint downloading, it just gets restarted!

I can replicate this every time if you'd like to see it at any point.

On my Windows XP displays (all but one, actually!), taking Firedeamon out of the equation by manually launching the client, I get no windows event log entries when it closes. Exactly the same symptoms on all cleints I've tried in this way though- the file gets to about (but not exactly the same each time) 50MB, and the client closes. Run it again and the download picks up where it left off but the layout shows 'Navigation to page cancelled". Once full file size is reached, close and open of client displays Powerpoint correctly.

Interestingly, I have one single Windows 7 display which also does the same thing. This one, however, shows an event log entry:

Faulting application name: XiboClient.exe, version:, time stamp: 0x542eb381
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: 6.1.7601.18409, time stamp: 0x531599f6
Exception code: 0xe053534f
Fault offset: 0x0000812f
Faulting process id: 0x%9
Faulting application start time: 0x%10
Faulting application path: %11
Faulting module path: %12
Report Id: %13

Due to compatibility issues, this client does NOT use the Firedeamon service method, and relies on a shortcut to xibo client in the startup folder.


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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

Hi, was anyone able to come up with any ideas or pointers for this one? I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do about it other than limit the size of my Powerpoint files to below the size where the bug occurs. Thanks

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Dan Garner (dangarner) said :

Hi Andy,

I've not be able to work out either
a) why it crashes at 50mb
b) why it shows the layout on first load

As far as I can see the layout shouldn't ever make it into the schedule if it doesn't have all of its files marked as valid. As you are replacing a layout that is already running, the moment it detects that the files have changed it should switch out to the splash screen while the new content is being downloaded.

If it crashes while downloading happens and the application restarts it should consider the old layout invalid and not show it.

It actually makes me wonder if there is something else looking in your library folder which might lock the file (potentially a virus scan?) so that both the new and old version of that layout are broken.

Does it happen if you were to copy the layout, replace the PPT in the copy and schedule the new copy?

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

Hi Dan, thanks for getting back to me.

I have done as you suggested and copied the layout etc. The symptoms remain the same when scheduling this copy, however. Client crashes ~50MB (actually 55MB on this test, has been as low as 46MB so not exact each time) and needs to be re-launched. Initial relaunch results in 'Navigation to the page was cancelled", but file finishes downloading. Relaunch again and it displays fine.

When testing this, I have been closing the client, deleting the local library contents and relaunching. This causes the splash screen to hang whilst the files download, but then the client crashes. If I change the layout and leave the client to its own devices, as soon as the files begin to download the playing layout 'locks up' (scrolling text stops, VLC video stream hangs etc) and the client stays unresponsive until it crashes out. Worse still, if I change to a Powerpoint file which is below the crash 'limit', the playing layout still hangs but because the client never crashes I just get the locked up layout stuck on screen until I force the client to close. WHen 'locked up' the xibo process is using ~50% CPU time.

Help :(


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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

A little more info. I have just performed an upgrade of my server to the latest version, in a dev environment (cloned VM, changed name and IP, upgraded and pointed a test client at it) and the behaviour is still the same.


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Dan Garner (dangarner) said :

I think we are looking at a client problem rather than a CMS problem - but I could be wrong....

Are all your clients built from the same image, or are they all different? (excluding the 1 win7 display). Do you have a corporate anti virus policy? Can you disable anti-virus scanning on the Xibo library folder.

Can you also run another test without deleting the library contents, etc and have the client status window open when you are doing it... once it has frozen can you screen shot that window so we can see what its doing internally?

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

Hi Dan,

I have no AV installed on the clients, and indeed they are all built from the same image. I have re-imaged one this morning to put it back to its 'factory' state and the problem still exists.

How do I view the client status window?


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Dan Garner (dangarner) said :

You press the "i" key (unfortunately you need a keyboard attached)

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

It locks up on "1 file to download", I have a screen shot but can't attach it here. Thanks

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Dan Garner (dangarner) said :

Any error messages in the bottom window (looks like a data grid)?

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

None at all unfortunately

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

More info:

I have created a test client for the purposes of testing this. Fresh install of Windows XP from a disk, no windows updates, installed IE8 (again without updates) and installed PowerPoint 2003. I also installed .net 3.5 SP1. Idea being minimum possible to run Xibo with a .ppt file. This is not bound to my domain, and has had literally nothing done to it apart from the above and the current Xibo client installed.

I have exactly the same crashing client symptoms on this client. Even with a fresh, blank layout with just a powerpoint file, the client crashes during the downloading of the file. Small files up to arund 7-8MB seem OK, but CPU usage still shoots up to 100% during the downloading time, however the client does recover and display the .ppt. I have created fresh presentations and kept adding photos to them until the problem occurs. On this test VM, which has lower resources than my actual clients, the crash occurs around 15MB, but symptoms remain the same. Download stops, client crashes with Windows 'send or don't send error report' type dialogue. Open client again, and you get 'navigation to page cancelled' and the download continues. Close and open again once download is complete and .ppt displays fine.

Again no information of any use in the client info window, and the windows event log this time shows the faulting module as kernel32.dll.

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Alex Harrington (alexharrington) said :

We know there are many crashes solved by the .net framework updates.
Personally I would consider all the Windows updates to date to be the
minimum requirement - especially on Windows XP.

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

I'll try updates on an actual client and report back. Thank you

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

I'm afraid that after applying all available updates to my Windows XP client, the behaviour remains unchanged. Thanks

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AndyC (andrew-coster-nulc) said :

Sorry to drag up this old post, but I'm still struggling with this issue.

Since pretty much giving up on this last year, my users have had to majorly cut back the resolution of photos etc in powerpoint files to keep the presentation size down. Doing this, and keeping the size to below around 10MB works fine.

However, I've just taken delivery of some new displays which are HD and the low quality content looks poor. I've upgraded my CMS and all client to the current (1.7.4) in the last few days, and I still have issues with large powerpoint files.

I no longer get the 'navigation to webpage cancelled' message, but if the presentation is larger than around 10MB the layout plays before the file has downloaded which results in a black area in my layout where powerpoint should be, and the powerpoint .exe file is not called. The download continues in the background until complete, even with very large files, and the xibo client does not crash but also never refreshes so the black area remains.

Can anyone help or suggest anything?


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